If a few years have gone by since you’ve updated your website design, you might be surprised to see the difference a design refresh can make. A more current website design with a better user experience can increase conversions, delight your customers, and help you sail over any revenue plateaus you may be experiencing. As you plan out a design refresh for your own website, keep the following best practices in mind.
1. Make sure your website is responsive
While all current Volusion themes are fully responsive, if it has been a very long time since you’ve updated your website, double-check that it’s mobile-optimized using Google’s mobile-friendly test tool. If it isn’t, updating to a responsive theme is an easy way to make a profound difference in traffic, usability, and conversions.
2. Consider switching to a more up-to-date theme
Even if your current theme is responsive, design trends change swiftly and it’s worth considering whether a newer theme might be a better way to showcase your brand. Theme designers stay ahead of trends so you don’t have to, and switching to a new theme can be a stress-free way to make a major difference for your website.
3. Update your main hero image or slideshow
On the subject of stress-free ways to make a difference, updating your main hero graphics or homepage slideshow requires no modification of the underlying code; it’s as easy as choosing the right images. Free stock photo sites like Unsplash provide beautiful alternatives to pricey stock photos, and updating your banner text to include new value propositions or offers is a great way to keep your website feeling fresh for your customers. Users can become “banner blind” as they grow accustomed to encountering the same images over and over, and mixing it up every now and again will keep your audience intrigued.
4. Strive for consistency
Have you ever wondered how a theme can be gorgeous when it’s populated by the stock photos the designer chose, but when you swap in your own photos, everything feels off? The likely culprit is a lack of consistency between the images you’re choosing with each other and/or with your broader design. Pay attention to your color palette in particular; images that include a pop of the brand color(s) you’re working with blend far more seamlessly into the rest of your design than images that introduce conflicting colors.
5. Assess your fonts and font styles
Are you choosing fonts that are readable and lovely without being distracting? Now is a good time to make sure. Be extra wary of fonts that feel fancy or “clever”—scripted text or novelty fonts rarely work for anything other than the simplest banner or logo text. For your headers and especially body text, focus on cleanliness and readability. Use different font sizes and styles for your H1s, H2s, body text, etc. to establish a clear hierarchy and flow of information.
6. Add trust icons
Trust icons quickly communicate key value propositions and benefits in a visual way, allowing the user to absorb the core benefits of your brand in an instant. Choose four of your top benefits—certified organic, money-back guarantee, above-and-beyond customer service, USA-made, etc.—and for each one, pair a simple icon or graphic with a brief sentence describing the differentiator.
Take advantage of another visual trust booster by adding the logos of companies you partner with or listing publications that have featured your website. Users will subconsciously connect the imagery of the brands and publications they trust with your own brand.
7. Monitor your conversions
Even professional designers don’t assume they’re going to hit a home run every time they make an update. Great web design isn’t about getting it perfect the first time—it’s about testing and iterating on an ongoing basis. Pay attention to your conversion rate after major changes and monitor the conversion rates of individual pages. If particular pages are lagging behind, think critically about why that might be.
Web design refreshes are a great way to keep your website aligned with current trends, intriguing your audience and boosting trust. Best of all, it’s often the simplest changes that make the biggest difference. If you’re hitting a revenue plateau or your competitive landscape is growing crowded, consider a design refresh today.